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Hungarian terrain

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago

Hungarian terrain


Author: Stephen Ladanyi


    • Proposal:

Add Woods (Wd) and Marsh (M) to lists based in the early Hungarian plain.


    • Lists affected:


II/80 Hunnic - Only Western Huns from 410 to 453 AD

III/2 Early Lombard - Only before 568 AD

III/13 Avar - Only from 568 AD

III/30 Magyar - Only from 896 AD

III/67 Early Hungarian


(Limiting dates are taken from existing steps in the published lists, except for 410 in the Hunnic list, which is assumed as a date for the initial Hun occupation of Pannonia; some authorities have suggested earlier dates.)




1. The Ancient Hungarians, Exhibition Catalogue 1996 edited by

István Fodor (former Director of the Hungarian National History

Museum), Page 28:


"The natural habitat of the eastern nomads in the Carpathian Basin

was the Great Hungarian Plain, extending over 10,000 sq. km. and the

Small Hungarian Plain, roughly one tenth of that area. The greater

part of this territory, however, was covered by the Danube and Tisza

rivers, and their tributaries, as well as innumerable lakes, marshes

and bogs...The immense floodplain of the Tisza was dissected

by innumerable levees, shoal islands and peninsulas, while the

grassy pastureland on these and higher elevations were covered with

oak, ash and birch grove forests."


2. The Magyars, Their Life and Civilisation by Gyula László

(Corvina, Budpaest, 1996). Pages 8 and 9:


"The Middle-Danube basin is the most westerly of the wooded steppe-

lands of Europe."


"At much the same time as Anonymous was writing, Otto, bishop of

Freising, who passed through 'Hungary' with his crusader army in

1147, described the country as 'God's own paradise', whose plains

were irrigated by 'noble streams and waters', the game of its

forests beyond counting, and 'its beauty as enchanting as its

luxuriant land is fertile."


"Vast reed-beds and boggy marshlands afforded refuge for inhabitants

on their hilly prominances, against enemies; by retreating there

they managed to ride out the devastations wreaked by Tartar and

Turkish armies. The same water-meadows were were an ideal habitat

for hunter and fisher, but these, and all other aspects of rural

life, changed by the land-drainage and waterway regulation schemes

of the modern age."


"Places where trains and automobiles now speed along without

hindrance in olden days had to be crossed by canoe, and only those

who knew the secrets of the marshes would dare to enter these



"The oakwoods of these marshy regions fell victim to clearance long

before land reclamation took place, as the timber was required to

build the fortresses of the border-defence system."


3. A Concise History of Hungary; the History of Hungary from the

Early Middle Ages to the Present; István Gyögy Tóth, Editor

(Corvina, Budapest, 2005). Page 23:


"Ranges of hills of varying height enclose Transdanubia to the

north, east and south. At one time these were particularly rich in

minerals; being less favourable for settlement, a significant area

remainded forested and uninhabited until the late Middle Ages, and

in some parts even until modern times."


It is assumed:


- That if woods and marshy lowlands were present at the Conquest at the end of the 9th century, and in 1147, they would also be present in earlier eras.


- That land-clearance probably eliminated most marshes and woods by the time of the Later Hungarian list (remembering that the rules still allow any army to have a Marsh by a river), which therefore does not need these options.

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